Raging Rimfires

Raging Rimfires

Ruger is looking to draw new shooters with a fun new event.

Ruger Rimfire competition is a new action-shooting discipline that's easy and economical to take up.

To most people it would simply make sense not to show up for a world championship event with two guns you've barely fired and a course of fire you've never shot. I'm not most people; I'm not that smart.

Last August I traveled to Morro Bay, California, to compete in the first Ruger Rimfire World Championship at the Hogue Action Pistol Range. Okay, so it wasn't like championship-level shoots I'd competed in before--no pomp, no circumstance--but the 70 or so shooters there were dedicated to doing well, while having fun doing it.

I was there at the invitation of Ruger's Ken Jorgensen. He says the Ruger Rimfire matches grew out of an event that Nelson Dymond (who was match director for the Ruger championship) held about three or four years ago.

"It was a success in terms of interest from competitors and that families participated," Ken says. "We realized there is a need for events that are affordable in terms of equipment and ammo and that encourage families to shoot together."

While the competitors at the championship were largely male, there were a few juniors and women in attendance, and the way the event is designed, there seems no reason it shouldn't draw the people Ruger is trying to attract: new shooters.

The barriers to entry couldn't be lower. All you need are a rimfire pistol, rimfire rifle, cases and magazines for same, and some ammunition. (And while this is "Ruger" Rimfire match, you're not restricted to shooting that company's products. A junior on my squad used a Browning Buckmark handgun.) The way matches are squadded, two people could even use the same guns.

The guns don't have to be high-end, super-accurate pieces as it's a hits-for-time competition. The steel plates are sizable on most stages, and the distances aren't long, so most any gun will work. Heck, they don't even have to be semiautos as there's a cowboy division for revolvers and lever actions. There's an iron-sight division as well, so it's not even necessary to invest the money in red-dot sights.

All this makes it great for introducing new shooters to competition, which can go a long way in developing new people's skills and maintaining their interest over the long haul.

And while many of the people I shot with at the championships were serious-minded competitors--with some of the coolest-looking, high-tech rimfire pistols and rifles I've ever seen--almost everyone seemed just as interested in having a good time as in turning in a good score.

"Ruger wants to encourage families to enjoy the shooting sports and teach young people how to be safe and responsible with firearms," Ken says. "The format is fun and has a measure of competition that the young people in particular like. It is also in a very controlled environment that stresses safety."

Ruger's role in all this is to help facilitate the events and, of course, contribute to the prize table--which was well-stacked at the Hogue range with products from several supporting companies.

Ruger is in the process of creating a set of steel targets that can be made available for a match, and it has come up with a set of guidelines clubs can use to organize an event. According to Ken, though, the company is not looking to create an organization you have to belong to in order to shoot the matches.

Last year there were three regional matches held in California, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, plus the championship match in Morro Bay.

Ken says the goal is to have nine regionals across the country in addition to a championship match this year.

"I would like to see regionals grow to the point we see 75 to 100 participants at each. I hope the championship grows to be 100 plus and becomes a multi-day event that draws shooters from across the country."

Over the years, I've competed in smallbore rifle, silhouette, air pistol, highpower rifle, and I can say without reservation the Ruger Rimfire match was the most fun I ever had. The stages were challenging but in such a way that if you were an action-shooting novice like me, you could hit all the targets if you didn't worry about time.

For the more advanced shooters who were focused on posting a good score, the stages presented just as much of a challenge because once you speed it up, even relatively large, close targets can be missed. And mistakes are costly when times are measured in hundredths of a second.

How did I do? I was slow as molasses for the most part, but I had a terrific time and shot with some fine people. I know one thing: I plan to be on that firing line again this year for the championship shoot.

At press time, Ruger was still working on setting up a web page for people to get more information on matches in their area. In the meantime, you can visit Nelson Dymond's site, TeamRimfire.com. Clubs that are looking to host a match should contact Nelson at nelsondymond@gmail.com.

Recommended for You


To Cast a Good Bullet

Bart Skelton - June 28, 2012

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a...


Kahr 25th Anniversary K9

J. Scott Rupp - July 19, 2019

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is...


8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat


10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

See More Stories

More Training


The 5x5x5 Drill

J. Scott Rupp - October 18, 2018

The best drills are the simplest, and it doesn't get any simpler than this one.


Perfecting the One-Handed Draw

Richard Nance - July 02, 2019

Learn the keys to a successful one-handed draw.


Handgun Fit

Handguns Online Staff - December 27, 2017

By Eve Flanigan Too many women approach shopping for a firearm the same way they shop for

See More Training

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.